“Criminal Minds” fans have an odd pattern of hating almost every female character on the series, but few are more vilified than Elle Greenaway, played by Lola Glaudini. Shes only on the show for 28 episodes, but her arc is memorable and controversial despite its brevity. Sex crimes specialist Elle joins up with the BAU for the first time in the pilot episode and is welcomed onto the team after helping them take down the shows very first unsub. Everything is fine and dandy until the Season 1 finale, “The Fisher King: Part 1,” when an unsub stalks the team, breaks into Elles home, and shoots her. She nearly dies there, but physically recovers from the wound in Season 2. Still, she suffers from PTSD even as she reenters the field.
Elles story then comes to a climax in “Criminal Minds” Season 2s “Aftermath,” when a serial rapist is allowed to walk free. Elle, whos been increasingly agitated over this case, lashing out at her team and other officers, follows the rapist and kills him. Its not long after this that she resigns from her position and leaves the series for good, as Glaudini wanted to leave.
Generally, Elle gets a lot of hate from the fans — not just for killing the unsub, but for much of her character — though some disagree with the harsh criticism.
What happened to Elle on ‘Criminal Minds’?
Elle Greenaway was a staple of the show starting from the very first episode. In the pilot, Elle helped the BAU capture a possible suspect. She also shot the show’s very first unsub, Tim Vogel aka the Seattle Strangler. (But, hey, he tried to kill Gideon first.) After that case, Elle joined the BAU and was a great addition to the team. Unfortunately, things didn’t remain good for very long.
In the Season 1 finale, an unsub shot Elle after breaking into her home. Paramedics eventually found Elle and were able to revive her, but she was left with psychological scars. In the premiere episode of Season 2, Elle returned to work — but her fellow BAU members weren’t convinced she was ready. Article continues below advertisement
By the fifth episode of Season 2, Elle started going into a downward spiral. She let her emotions get the best of her and confronted an unsub prematurely, which eventually led to him being let off. She then followed him to his apartment and shot him in cold blood. In the next episode, Elle resigned from the FBI entirely, thus disappearing from the show.
Criminal Minds follows a group of criminal profilers who work for the FBI as part of its Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU), and they use behavioral analysis and profiling to investigate crimes and find the unknown subjects (unsubs), with the audience following their investigations as they develop. Of course, Criminal Minds also takes a look at the personal struggles of each team member and the dynamics between them, as they all form a strong bond after working together in intense cases. However, as the show progressed, some characters left for different reasons, and some of them left quite early, as was the case of Elle Greenaway.
Criminal Minds saw various changes in its core team throughout its run, and some members left the show too soon, as was the case of Lola Glaudini’s Elle Greenway, who left in season 2. Police crime dramas are very popular on TV, and while there have been a variety of successful shows from this branch, one of the most popular ones in the last decade is Criminal Minds. Created by Jeff Davis, Criminal Minds premiered on CBS in 2005 and came to an end in 2020 after 15 seasons through which the team encountered all types of terrifying cases and criminals, and they also saw many of their coworkers leave at some point.
Criminal Minds saw many of its original team members leave, and the first one was Lola Glaudinis Elle Greenaway – but why did she leave so soon?
Speaking to LA Times in 2006, Criminal Minds writer and producer Ed Bernero shared that Glaudini was leaving the show to return to the East Coast as she was unhappy living in Los Angeles – however, this hasn’t been confirmed by Glaudini, who hasn’t revealed her reasons to leave the show. Criminal Minds gave proper closure to Elle Greenaway, though there were some tough events that led to her departure. Greenaway was shot by an unsub who broke into her home, and while she made a full physical recovery, she was left with PTSD. Greenaway returned to work despite Hotch and Reid expressing their concerns that she had returned too early, but she was triggered by a case involving a serial rapist, and she ended up killing the suspect. After missing a psychological evaluation, she returned to the BAU only to hand in her badge and gun and officially resign. Greenaway was replaced by Emily Prentiss (Paget Brewster), who went on to become a fan-favorite character.
The original team in Criminal Minds consisted of Jason Gideon (Mandy Patinkin), Aaron Hotchner (Thomas Gibson), Elle Greenaway, Derek Morgan (Shemar Moore), Spencer Reid (Matthew Gray Gubler), Jennifer Jareau (A.J. Cook), and Penelope Garcia (Kristen Vangsness), of which only Reid, JJ, and Penelope stayed until the final season. The first one to go was Ellen Greenaway, a Supervisory Special Agent with the BAU whose specialty was sexual offense crimes. Greenaway left Criminal Minds in its second season, and it’s all because Glaudini needed a change of scenery after working in Los Angeles.
Why A.J. Cook Left Criminal Minds
A.J. Cook is one of the original stars of Criminal Minds cast, with her character JJ going all the way back to the beginning. However, her run as a cast member has not been without its ups and downs. After Season 5, it was announced that Cook did not have her contract renewed in what was reported to be a cost-cutting move by the show’s producer. She did appear in a handful of episodes in Season 6 to wrap up their storylines and she was gone. Just not for long.
The passionate fans of the show were outraged and eventually the show relented and brought her back before the start of Season 7. A.J. Cook has been a cast member on Criminal Minds ever since.
Does Elle Greenaway come back?
And just like that, Supervisory Special Agent Elle Greenaway is gone. While her name would pop up now and then in later seasons, the character never returned on screen again, save for an appearance in a dream Reid had in the series finale.
What episode does Elle get shot in Criminal Minds?
Is Elle gone from Criminal Minds?